Public Views on Healthcare Little Changed

June 12, 2020

A new University of Chicago Harris/Associated Press (AP)-NORC study shows that despite the COVID-19 pandemic putting a spotlight on many aspects of the U.S. healthcare system, the public’s opinions about healthcare costs and coverage have not significantly changed in recent months. Results from the study, based on two surveys, show that Americans’ concerns about the country’s healthcare system continue to loom larger than worries about their own care.

Key findings include:

  • 19% of Americans are concerned about personally losing or not having health insurance, while 56% are worried about coverage issues for others in the country;    
  • 70% say the private sector does a better job than the government in driving innovation in healthcare; and   
  • 50% prefer an insurance plan with better coverage but higher costs, while 45% want care with lower costs but less coverage.

The study found little consensus on whether insurance plans should prioritize reducing costs, broadening coverage, or allowing people to choose their doctors. The nationwide surveys were conducted by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in mid-May.